Popular Articles

Article President’s Message by John F. Dunbar

Building Just and Equitable Communities

The impacts of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the injustices his death exemplifies are being felt on our streets, in our businesses, and in every city and town in California, across the country, and throughout the world.

Article by Amanda Cadelago

Cities Harness Creativity as They Develop Safe Reopening Plans

­While different regions and industry sectors opened at various times, the desire to safely reopen businesses and give residents opportunities to carefully move about their communities was a common theme guiding city leaders’ decisions.

Article

Affordable Housing: More Than a Mandate in San Marcos
How San Marcos Leveraged Affordable Housing for Smart Growth

In an area that lacked basic infrastructure, two mixed-use affordable housing developments brought improvements including new streets, drainage, and lighting. A complex mix of federal, state, and city funding, matched with private-sector loans, covered the costs.

Article Features by Jill Oviatt

Redwood City’s Quest to Bring Back Missing Middle Housing

Reducing the minimum lot size for duplexes and triplexes and revising current open-space requirements are among the city’s proposed zoning updates.

Article Features by Michael McLaughlin

Connecting the Dots on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resilience

The challenges associated with disasters include tech-related issues, risk management and the need to create incentives for updating and retrofitting homes to improve wildfire and earthquake resilience.

Article Legal Notes by Patrick Whitnell, Corrie Manning and Luis Haro

Regulating Hate Speech in California

Even though hateful speech is generally protected under the First Amendment, some hate speech does not receive protection.

Article Features by Melissa Kuehne

Cities Reframe Community Conversations About Housing

While most people agree that California needs more housing, the conversation often becomes complicated when it turns to how, where, and why in a specific community. Cities are involving their residents and communities in discussions about housing from a new perspective.

Article Features by Daniel Parolek and Tony Perez

How to Ensure That Missing Middle Housing Is Not Missing From Your City’s Policy, Planning, and Zoning

“Missing middle” housing helps to address the growing demand for walkable communities, respond to shifting household demographics, and meet the need for more housing choices.

Article Legal Notes Joan L. CassmanCecilia M. Quick

Declaring a State of Emergency: What You Need to Know

Article Legal Notes Melanie M. PoturicaDavid A. Urban

A City Council Member’s Role With Respect to Individual City Employees

Melanie M. Poturica is managing partner at the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore in Los Angeles, and can be reached at mpoturica@lcwlegal.com. David A. Urban is an attorney with the firm, and can be reached at durban@lcwlegal.com.


In the public eye, city council members are at the top of the city’s government structure, presiding over large and small bureaucracies that may include police officers, firefighters and many other types of employees charged with serving the public interest. Accordingly, when residents are aggrieved by or interested in the conduct of a particular employee, they may view their council member as that employee’s ultimate “boss” or de facto CEO of the city, who can cause the employee to be disciplined or even terminated, and who could certainly take such lesser actions as communicating with the employee’s direct supervisor or reviewing the employee’s personnel file for information relevant to the issue.

Dublin Provides Affordable Housing for Veterans

An innovative public-private-nonprofit partnership transformed a former car dealership site into housing for veterans, comprising 66 units that are 100 percent affordable.

Article Legal Notes by Alex Pal

Disasters in California: A Brief Overview of Preparedness, Proclamations and Assistance

Though California cities cannot predict or prevent the next disaster, they can take steps to maximize preparedness and build capacity.

Article Web Exclusive by Kristyn Laurence

The Nightmare Next Door: Elk Grove Takes Action

It was just another quaint suburban neighborhood, but something was missing. On Demonte Way in Elk Grove, no children played together on the sidewalks or rode their bicycles along the street.

Article Features by Rod Gould

Beyond Ethics: Establishing a Code of Conduct to Guide Your Council

Local government leaders are adopting codes of conduct to set the rules and expectations for how they govern their cities. Such codes help foster a civil and respectful governing culture consistent with best practices.

Article Everyday Ethics for Local Officials

The “Front Page” Test: An Easy Ethics Standard

As an elected official and public servant, your actions and words are often subject to intense public scrutiny. Thinking about how the average constituent on the street will perceive your actions…

Article Features Patrice Chamberlain

Police Departments Use Creative Approaches to Build Public Trust

A foundation of community trust and strong community relationships is crucial for law enforcement to effectively prevent crime and safely resolve situations that involve residents.

Article Features by Nat Rojanasathira and Dominic Lazzaretto

It Starts With Civility: Elected Officials’ Role in Attracting and Retaining Employees

Tips for local officials.

Article Features by Brian Haddix

Small Cities Fund Public Works Infrastructure Projects With Clean Energy Savings

How can a city shift its power supply to clean energy, create jobs, complete projects on its deferred maintenance list and improve its bond rating — without raising taxes or local water and sewer utility rates? Two small cities offer a model.